House Passes Poe-Connolly Bill to Support Territorial Integrity of Georgia

Washington, D.C. - Today, Congressman Ted Poe (R-TX), and Congressman Gerald Connolly (D-VA), Co-Chairs of the Congressional Georgia Caucus, released the following statement after the House of Representatives passed H. Res 660 by a vote of 410-6.

H.Res. 660 condemns the Russian Federation’s unlawful occupation of Georgia and calls for Russia to withdraw from the territories. It also urges the United States Government to declare unequivocally that the United States will not recognize the de jure or de facto sovereignty of the Russian Federation over any part of Georgia.

“The young democracy of Georgia is a valuable U.S. ally threatened by the cold Russian winds of authoritarianism”, said Congressman Ted Poe. “The illegal Russian occupation of Georgia is not a simple matter of territory. It is an attack on ideas; it is an assault of the very freedoms and liberties we hold dear. This resolution states that without a doubt, our friends in Georgia and the region must know that the U.S. will not waiver in its longstanding support for its allies in the face of the Napoleon of Siberia.”

“Passage of this resolution serves as a clear and unequivocal statement in support of the sovereign territory of Georgia and reiterates the longstanding policy of the United States to not recognize territorial changes effected by force”, said Rep. Connolly. “In Georgia and elsewhere, Russia has committed gross violations of these principles by fomenting unrest and aiding separatist movements in its neighboring countries. This resolution sends an important message to Moscow that the United States condemns this behavior and will remain focused on countering and reversing such acts of aggression.”

Georgia has more troops in Afghanistan fighting alongside our troops than any non-NATO ally.  Over recent years, Georgia has drawn closer to the EU and worked hard to become an official party of NATO. Georgia is one of the few democracies in the region and is a strong partner of the United States. It is critical that the United States supports the sovereignty and integrity of Georgia as a free, united, and democratic nation.